An implant bridge may be recommended to you if you’re missing one or more teeth. At least 2 implants are needed in these cases. Gaps left by missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a non ideal bite. Bridges span the space where teeth are missing.

Sometimes a dental implant is placed when a natural tooth is missing (could be missing from birth or if a tooth was previously removed). The implant becomes the support system for a new tooth, replacing the root.

Once the implants are in place and ready (fully healed in the jaw bone), an “impression” (or copy) is taken of the implant. An implant bridge will then be fabricated and will seat on top of the implants. The implant crown is made out of 2 components: an “abutment” (which is typically made out of titanium) and the crown itself (made of ceramic or a combination of metal and ceramic). Sometimes these 2 components can be fused together in one piece, but sometimes they have to remain separate (this will be determined by the laboratory as they can determine from the model work which type can be more successful in each patient). The abutment locks into the implant by a screw.

An implant bridge is done in 2 visits. At the first visit, your current implant “cap” (which can be seen on top of the gums), is removed, and posts are inserted. An x-ray is then taken to verify everything is connected properly below the gums. They will then take an “impression” (make a copy) of these posts and send to the lab to create the bridge. Your previous caps will be placed back on the implants while we wait on the implant bridge to come back from the laboratory. The turnaround time is 3-4 weeks as the laboratory has to make work off multiple parts and pieces and the abutment is fabricated first. At the second visit, your implant caps will be removed again and the permanent bridge placed. Sometimes numbing is necessary for this last step to make the fitting more comfortable. We will also make sure you approve the looks and feel of the permanent bridge before it’s screwed in.